Pike takes Perth Cup ride on Ballack

Outstanding young jockey William Pike has taken the Perth Cup ride on Victorian stayer Ballack.

Pike elected to ride Ballack in the $400,000 Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on January 1 ahead of local three-year Lovre.

The seasond Ballack, trained by Danny O'Brien, will be flown to Perth on Tuesday on flight arranged by Perth Racing.

However he will travel alone after the connections of Eskimo Dan decided to keep the stayer in Melbourne after his second placing at Flemington last Saturday.

Eskimo Dan will have his next start in the $150,000 Bagot Handicap at Flemington on New Year's Day.

Pike won the 2005 Perth Cup for Lovre's trainer Lindsay Smith on Crown Proectuor and was tempted to ride the three-year-old despite his inexperience.

Smith, renowned for his prowess with stayers, is making a daring Perth Cup bid with Lovre as the Galileo colt will go into the Group 2 race after only three career starts.

Lovre, raced by former champion West Coast Eagles player Peter Sumich, only had his first start six weeks ago and is now high in Perth Cup betting after a last start win over 2200m at Ascot.

Ballack drifted from Perth Cup favouritism following his last start second over 2000m at Flemington when having only his third start since his winter campaign when he won the Tattersall's Cup at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.

Ballack will be making his second visit to Perth, having finished second in the WA Derby as a three-year-old.

Story and Photo by Racing and Sports

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